POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

16-22 March: Latest covid-19 Luxembourg news



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If you suspect that you have covid-19, isolate yourself from anyone susceptible to be infected and contact the government hotline, 8002 8080. Do not go to your see your GP or the emergency room. In case of emergency, telephone 112. For more information and the latest official updates, consult the Luxembourg government’s coronavirus information website. Additional information about covid-19 can be found on the websites of the UK’s National Health Service, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. 

Delano will update this page regularly throughout the week with information related to the spread of covid-19 in Luxembourg. 

Newer updates here

Sunday 22 March, 8:30pm

German chancellor Angela Merkel was placed in quarantine after a doctor who gave her a vaccine against pneumococcal infection tested positive for coronavirus.

Sunday 22 March, 4:30pm

Public administration office the Guichet will be open to the public by appointment only from 23 March and then only for urgent services related to collection or ordering of a Luxembourg identity card or driving licence.

Appointments can be made from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, by calling 247-82000, or emailing eID.helpdesk[at]ctie.etat.lu, specifying the context of the emergency. People with other requests can call the help desk for further information, or visit guichet.lu.

Sunday 22 March, 4pm

Health minister Paulette Lenert gave a media briefing this afternoon on the latest situation. She said the last 24 hours have been quieter with no new fatalities in the grand duchy. Of the 798 confirmed cases announced this morning, 37 have been hospitalised of which 3 are in intensive care. She later explained that Luxembourg currently had 112 intensive care beds at its disposal.

Nevertheless, the government is setting up advanced care centres at Luxexpo, which will start operating as of 2pm on Monday. On Tuesday, centres will open at the Rockhal in Esch-Belval and the Däichhal in Ettelbruck to cover the south and north of the country. A fourth centre in the east, possibly in Grevenmacher, is also being planned.

The minister said Luxembourg is showing a higher per capita rate of infections because it is conducting more intensive testing than many other countries. But she again ruled out the idea of testing those who weren’t showing symptoms as that would result in a higher rate of negative tests and would give a false sense of security.

Lenert also said she did not think there would be any chance of the country returning to “normality” within the next 8 weeks.

Sunday 22 March, 12:45pm

Minister president of the Saarland, Tobias Hans, has tweeted that he will put medical facilities at the disposal of critically sick French patients from across the border. He said that his "friend" Jean Rottner, the president of the Grand Est region, agreed that they could only win the fight against coronavirus by working together.

Sunday 22 March, 10:30am

The government said this morning at 10:15am that there were 798 confirmed covid-19 cases in Luxembourg, a rise of 128 since yesterday. The death toll remained steady at 8.

Sunday 22 March, 9:10am

CFL, the national railway, announced a reduced service schedule starting on Monday. Many (but not all) lines will operate one train per hour or less frequently outside of peak hours. High speed TGV trains to Paris and the south of France are cancelled until further notice. CFL published details in English here.

Sunday 22 March, 8:50am

Here are the latest figures from neighbouring countries, announced by government sources on 21 March:

  • Belgium: 2,815 confirmed cases, including 67 deaths
  • France: 14,459 confirmed cases, including 562 deaths
  • Germany: 16,662 confirmed cases, including 47 deaths

Sunday 22 March, 8:30am

The last LuxairTours holiday flight (before suspending service due to covid-19) landed on Saturday and the last regularly scheduled flight is expected to land later today, Adrien Ney, LuxairGroup’s CEO told 100,7 public radio earlier this week. While “theoretically” holiday flights are penciled in to resume on 20 April and scheduled Luxair flights to begin again on 1 May, those plans could certainly change. “My personal opinion is that we will only start to fly again in June,” Ney said in the radio interview. Luxair has applied to place some of its staff in the government’s short-time working scheme, but has not yet considered requesting state aid.

Saturday 21 March, 5:30pm

Parliament has voted unanimously to support a 3-month extension of the state of emergency that came into effect on 18 March. 56 deputies voted in favour of the government’s proposal, with 4 deputies excused from the sitting that debated the bill.

Saturday 21 March, 2:10pm

The official figures released by the government show 670 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. The number of deaths has risen to 8, up from the 5 announced on Friday afternoon. Of those infected, 26 patients have been hospitalised and 3 are in intensive care.

Saturday 21 March, 10:15am

China’s government is sending 5m medical protective masks for doctors and health professionals, 5m medical protection gloves, 50 ventilators, 150,000 safety goggles and 1m other protective masks to Luxembourg, according to the Luxemburger Wort. Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister, told the Wort that the shipment would arrive on a Cargolux flight on Monday or Tuesday. Asselborn said China is sending the supplies because of the aid Luxembourg provided to China in February.

Saturday 21 March, 9am

Construction of a temporary treatment centre for covid-19 patients began at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg on Friday, the government said. The material was provided by the Nato Support and Procurement Agency, based in Capellen. Supplies are being transported by Cargolux. The government said that “two flights have already arrived, a third flight is planned for [Friday] evening. The facility will be operational in the coming days.” The CHL is located in the Rollingergrund/Belair-Nord neighbourhood of Luxembourg City.

Saturday 21 March, 8:30am

Belgium has joined Germany in limiting traffic across its borders.

Pieter De Crem, Belgium’s federal interior and security minister, tweeted on Friday: “The inner cabinet of the Belgian government decided this afternoon to check non-essential inbound and outbound travel to and from Belgium in its approach of #COVID19Belgium.”

Belgian borders are closed “to all but freight and travellers deemed to be on essential business,” according to the AFP.

Friday 20 March, 2:15pm

Xavier Bettel was just informed that the number of people who have died after being infected with covid-19 in Luxembourg has risen to 5, though it is unconfirmed whether the latest deceased had been infected with coronavirus.

Friday 20 March, 9:45am

The official figues released by the government show 484 (corrected from 618 reported by the health ministry earlier) confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. The number of deaths remained stable since Thursday at 4.

Friday 20 March, 9:15am

The official figues released by the government show 618 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. The number of deaths remained stable since Thursday at 4.

Friday 20 March, 8:30am

RTL Luxembourg reports that hospital infrastructure, including 200 beds and 100 respirators, was being flown in to Luxembourg by Cargolux.

Thursday 19 March, 5:15pm

The Luxembourg and French governments agreed that cross-border workers who live in France can work from home beyond the current cap of 29 days per year (before cross-border commuters become liable to pay French taxes and social insurance charges). Luxembourg’s finance ministry said the agreement retroactively took effect on 14 March and lasts “until further notice”.

Thursday 19 March, 4:45pm

Health minister Paulette Lenert said on Thursday afternoon that she expected the number of infections and hospitalisations from covid-19 to reach its peak in the next two weeks. She said that the four deaths reported in the grand duchy were all over 80 and had underlying health issues. 14 of the 335 people who have been infected are currently hospitalised. While there are currently enough beds to handle that, Lenert did warn that the hospitals could soon reach capacity. Six people who had been infected have been cured. The average age of those infected is 46. Lenert said that 750 tests were conducted on Wednesday.

Thursday 19 March, 2pm

The immigration service said that non-EU nationals in Luxembourg during the current covid-19 restrictions will have their expiring authorisations “automatically” extended “for the duration of the state of emergency”.

This applies to holders of short- and long-term visas, all types of resident permits and asylum seekers. Citizens of countries who can enter Luxembourg visa-free for 90 days will also be granted extensions while the state of emergency lasts.

The immigration service said “that the persons concerned do not have to make any steps or special applications” and the agency “will not issue documents certifying these temporary extensions.”

Thursday 19 March, 12:35pm

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has tweeted that he has “tested positive for COVID-19.”

Thursday 19 March, 12:25pm

As of Monday, Luxairport will definitely be closed for passenger traffic, minister of transport François Bausch said at a press briefing. It will remain open for freight traffic, which provides a vital bridge to the outside world, the minister said.

Thursday 19 March, 11am

The economy and labour ministries introduced a simplified application process for the short-time working scheme. Companies ordered closed by the government, to stem coronavirus transmission, will be eligible to apply retroactively to 16 March. Up to 80% of employee salaries (capped at €5,354.98 per month) can be reimbursed. The government said that application forms will be published in the coming days.

Another category, “force majeure/coronavirus”, is currently available. Application forms can be found on the Adem jobs agency (Word document) and Guichet.lu government portal sites (Word document).

Staff with permanent and fixed-term contracts are eligible, but not temporary workers.

Thursday 19 March, 9:30am

The updated numbers for Luxembourg are now 335 confirmed cases and 4 deaths. There has been no further information on the age of the 3 people who have died since a 94-year old became the first fatality. Nor has the government released information about where they were located.

Thursday 19 March, 8:30am

Maison de l’orientation information centres closed to the public except by remote access or telephone.

Contact details below:

ADEM-OP: [email protected]

CePAS: [email protected]

ALJ Luxembourg: [email protected]

SECAM/CASNA: [email protected]

Standard: [email protected]

By phone, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 12 noon, and 1pm to 5pm.

ADEM-OP: 247-85480

CePAS: 247-75910

SECAM/CASNA: 247-75274

Closures apply until 20 April.

Thursday 19 March, 8am

The state of emergency declaration formally took effect on Wednesday. The prime minister’s office said the state of emergency “cannot exceed three months” but that the Chamber of Deputies can “suspend or revoke the state of emergency at any time”.

Wednesday 18 March, 9pm

Germany’s Federal Police has drawn up a new, uniform certificate/border pass (PDF) for commuters travelling from Germany to Luxembourg, which can be placed behind the windscreen in a clearly visible position. This certificate is valid immediately, but the form provided by the Luxembourg government on 15 March remains valid and will continue to be accepted by the German Federal Police.

Wednesday 18 March, 8pm

Government announced a new accelerated procedure for companies directly affected by a government decision and a “force majeure/coronavirus” short-time working scheme.

Dutch ambassador announced cancellation of Kings Day celebrations, normally scheduled for 27 April.

Wednesday 18 March, 7:20pm

PM Xavier Bettel said people could be fined €145 for leaving their home without a good reason and businesses could be fined €4,000 for failing to close. Details on his press conference here.

Wednesday 18 March, 7pm

Government announced farmers and professionals in the agricultural sector to be given some exemptions regarding movement in order to maintain a supply chain. They are permitted to purchase products related to their line of work, to travel to work, shops or service providers, transport animals and carry out maintenance or other activities linked to work.

Wednesday 18 March, 6:30pm

Reduction of public transport services, starting 19 March.

Wednesday 18 March, 6pm

The education ministry extended the closure period for Luxembourg schools and crèches until 19 April. It warns this date could be pushed back again depending on the evolution of the crisis. More information here.

Wednesday 18 March, 12noon

The Centre hospitalier Emile Mayrisch (Chem) closed two of its hospitals--in Niederkorn and Dudelange--at noon on Wednesday as part of the second phase of its covid-19 strategy aimed at centralizing services on one site in Esch-sur-Alzette. All scheduled appointments, scans/MRIs and operations were postponed.

Wednesday 18 March, 10:50am

Three maisons médicales (drop-in medical centres) set up specially to handle patients suffering from acute respiratory infection have started operating. Covering the centre, south and north of the country, the maisons médicales are located at:  

59 rue Michel Welter in Luxembourg City; 70 rue Émile Mayrisch in Esch-sur-Alzette; and 110 avenue Lucien Salentiny in Ettelbruck.

They are open weekdays from 8am to 4pm. The authorities are also looking at an option to open a fourth maison médicale in the east of the country.

Wednesday 18 March, 9:15am

Coronavirus infection numbers reached 203 with a second death in Luxembourg.

Wednesday 18 March, 7:25am

Luxembourg’s government published the employer’s certificate (PDF) for cross-border workers who live in Belgium to present “during border checks”.

There are separate certificates, released earlier, for cross-border commuters resident in France and Germany.

Wednesday 18 March, 7:15am

The government clarified the prime minister’s declaration (made at the Chamber of Deputies yesterday) that the population should “stay at home!” Residents are permitted outside of their homes:

  • to go to healthcare facilities;
  • to purchase food, pharmaceutical products and “essential items”;
  • to go to work, if teleworking is not possible;
  • to provide aid and care to older and dependent people, handicapped people or people who are particularly vulnerable;
  • “in case of force majeure or a necessary situation”.

The government said:

“It is allowed to go out in the open air under the strict conditions of avoiding social contact and following the recommended precautions and protective measures. Finally, it was decided that all recreational areas will remain closed until further notice.”

As reported earlier (see below), police will be making random checks that people are following these rules.

The cabinet is expected to submit the state of emergency declaration to parliament later today.

Tuesday 17 March, 5pm

Here are more details on the government’s planned state of emergency, outlined this afternoon to parliament.

Employment agency Adem moved its registration and procedures for unemployment benefits online. Forms can be found here in English. Applicants will then be contacted by Adem advisors by phone or email to finalise registration and unemployment benefit applications.

Tuesday 17 March, 2:40pm

Lenert said she is admits there are delays in delivery of medical supplies, but that she is confident they will be delivered. But she has also said that some supplies has been stolen. The army is delivering material and is monitoring the situation.

The three “maisons medicales” that will diagnose and treat people with breathing difficulty will open on Wednesday morning at 8am.

Tuesday 17 March, 2:30pm

Health minister Paulette Lenert told parliament that only 1 of the 140 infected people is in intensive care, another 6 have been hospitalised at moment. She adds that she can’t say how many have been cured, as it takes at least 14 days to get over the virus.

Tuesday 17 March, 2:20pm

Luxembourg has declared a state of emergency in the light of the spread of the coronavirus virus. Xavier Bettel made the announcement in parliament on Tuesday afternoon. More to follow…

Tuesday 17 March, 12pm

The health ministry reported 140 cases of covid-19 in Luxembourg. The death count of 1, a 94-year-old person, remains unchanged since Friday of last week.

Tuesday 17 March, 10am

The health ministry reported 94 cases of covid-19 in Luxembourg. The death count of 1, a 94-year-old person, remains unchanged since Friday of last week. 

Tuesday 17 March, 7am

France’s internal affairs ministry released a declaration form that anyone moving around within France must complete and carry to certify that the trip is necessary.

Monday 16 March, 8:30pm

In a nationally televised speech, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, announced further restrictions on public movement. Movement will kept to the “strict minimum” possible, starting on Tuesday at 12noon and lasting for 15 days. Residents will still be able to go to work, go shopping, and seek and provide care, but social gatherings of any kind are prohibited. The French president did not cite any specific controls on the Luxembourg-France border.

Separately, Luxembourg’s government published the employers certificate (PDF) that could conceivably be required for French cross-border workers during “possible border checks.”

Macron reiterated the decision to close external EU borders to foreign travel, announced earlier this afternoon.

In addition, Macron postponed the second round of municipal elections, which had been scheduled for Sunday 22 March, probably until June. Macron also said he would withdraw his controversial pension reform bill, so the government, he said, could concentrate on combatting covid-19.

Monday 16 March, 7:45pm

The Luxembourg and Belgian governments reached an accord on cross-border workers telecommuting during the covid-19 outbreak. Under Belgian law, cross-border commuters can only work at home 24 days per year until they are subject to Belgian income tax and social insurance contributions. The Luxembourg finance ministry said this rule was suspended effective Saturday 14 March “until further notice.”

Monday 16 March, 6:10pm

The ministry of foreign affairs has recommended that all Luxembourg nationals currently abroad urgently assess the possibility of returning to Luxembourg. “The number of countries introducing travel restrictions is increasing rapidly and the availability of means of transport is decreasing accordingly,” the ministry writes in a statement issued on Monday evening. It adds that in that eventuality repatriation would no longer be possible in the short term.

Monday 16 March, 11:30am

The immigration service has limited access to its offices starting today. The “Prolongation” counter, which issues temporary extention papers to refugees and asylum seekers, is closed. The “Informations” counter, which issues and renews resident permits, is closed. This section can be reached by email (immigration.public [at] mae.etat.lu) or telephone (247-84040, Monday to Friday from 9am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm). The “Enrôlement” section, which registers biometric data for resident permit applications, remains open to the public, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 12noon and 1pm to 4pm. However, the immigration department asked the public only to come to its offices for urgent matters. In addition, documents can not be left at the immigration service’s reception desk; forms and papers must be sent via postal mail.

Monday 16 March, 11am

Laboratoire Réunis is offering drive-thru covid-19 testing in Junglinster for people with medical prescriptions only.

Monday 16 March, 10:30am

Luxembourg’s foreign affairs ministry advised against all non-essential travel abroad. Luxembourg nationals who are abroad and wish to return should contact their travel agency, tour operator or airline.

Monday 16 March, 10am

According to Le Quotidien, Luxembourg economy minister Franz Fayot has not been infected with covid-19. Last week he self-isolated after having contact with someone who tested positive for the disease.

Doctors were on Monday being encouraged to use teleconsultation (video or telephone call appointments) to reduce physical contact. This enables doctors to draw up medical prescriptions and incapacity declarations for patients without having physical contact. The tariff would remain aligned with regular GP consultation costs.

Monday 16 March, 6:45am

Germany has introduced border controls on its frontiers with Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark, starting at 8am today, as reported by AFP, Deutsche Welle and Reuters. Cross-border commuters will be exempt, with an employers certificate (PDF). German citizens and residents will be allowed to enter the country. More details in this morning’s breakfast briefing.

Older covid-19 updates